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Books and Documents

Islamic Culture

The liberal democratic system allowing individual freedom of speech, freedom of expression etc. is fine, but there must be limits to such freedom, particularly when there is an undeniable tendency to take advantage of it. If Sharia Law is attempted to be introduced surreptitiously under the guise of religious freedom, then such attempts should be considered to be thwarted; otherwise bigger problems may arise in future which may threaten the very fabric of the society.....

 

Ibn-e-Safi, the Man:  Stranger Than Fiction
Nadeem F. Paracha

I don’t anymore though, outgrowing the fantastic sounding cities and countries full of quirky spies, strange gadgets and racy plots that Safi offered in his novels, making him one of Pakistan’s most popular and best-selling Urdu novelists of all time.....

 

Shahid Sajjad:  A Study in Bronze
Irfan Husain

It is unsurprising that art has little place in a society as racked by violence and as warped by greed as Pakistan is today. Artists, too, are marginal figures unless they are good at self-promotion. And Shahid Sajjad was the very antithesis of a pushy person blowing his own trumpet: modest to the point of becoming a recluse in his last few years, he let his work speak for itself.....

 

Mehdi Hasan may not be with us, but his repertoire will continue to enthrall music lovers in all times to come……

 

12 Songs from Pakistan’s Mountains, Deserts, Shrines and Streets
Nadeem F. Paracha

Interestingly, though both, the 20th century secular Pakhtun nationalists, as well as the more religious and conservative expressions of Pakhtun identity, celebrated the Pakhtun culture’s militaristic tenor, Pakhtun folk music is remarkably romantic and poetic in nature, with the singers mostly voicing sagas of longing for their beloveds (who are in some foreign land), or for the mountains and rivers of the Pakhtun lands that the singer misses.....

 

He had come from Bombay where he had been leading a hard but fruitful life for twelve years. In the preface to his collection of short stories titled Yazeed, Manto mentioned that he considered Bombay his Doosra Watan – after Amritsar where he spent his boyhood and early youth – and called himself Chalta-Phirta Bambai. “Wherever I stay, I’ll make my own world.”....

 

Women, Urdu and Bollywood
Aijaz Zaka Syed

It’s not possible to disagree with the argument that if Indian Muslims are at the bottom of the heap in many ways, their women are at the bottom of this bottom. I could understand why my friend was appalled though. The expression employed was crude even if candid.  The Progressive Writers’ Movement, to which Kaifi belonged, tended to use such strong language to shock and awaken the sleepy social conscience…..

 

Pahela Baishakh: Beyond Kurtas and Saris
Afsan Chowdhury

Baishakhi is a festival of harvesting and commercial year launching. It has been in Bengal and in many parts of India since the time of Akbar the Mughal during whose rule the revenue system was reorganised. It’s the time of renewal, promises and inclusion of all in a socio-economic system. It’s therefore a festival without religious overtones….

 

It could be argued that these fine Islamic arts are more advantaged nowadays in Turkey, blossoming along with the recent spiritual revival in the country. Anyone visiting or living in Turkey nowadays is certain to encounter the different genres of these fine arts of Islam. This is clear from many examples of Turkish architecture in the form of mosques and former palaces, great poetry….

 

Sufi Music Makes Comeback in Iraq
Amal Sakr

When reading or hearing about Sufi music, one immediately imagines a “spiritual session” during which Mouwashshas (a form of classical Arabic poem) are sung, as Sufi music in Iraq is linked to the Kasnazani order — known for their performances involving “whirling dervishes” — in addition to the Qadiri order. During their evening performances and religious occasions, Sufis usually recite poems and beat drums to create rhythm. ....

 

Shah Abdul Latif:  The Voice of Love
Sadia Dehlvi

The young poet fell in love with the daughter of Mirza Mughal Beg, a proud scion of the Afghan rulers. Although Shah’s family happened to draw their lineage from the family of Prophet Muhammad, there was a difference in the social status of the families. The ruling family was aristocratic, while the Shahs came from a family of mystics. In 1713, robbers assassinated Mughal Beg and decamped with all his riches. Reduced to poverty, the Mirza family eventually agreed to give their daughter in marriage to Shah, who had by then gained fame as a poet…..

 

The 10 Best Pakistani Political/Social Parody Songs … Ever!
Nadeem F. Paracha

Aziz Mian was the wild man of Pakistani Quawwali. Long-haired, almost always sloshed on his favourite brand of whisky, and punctuating his Quawwalis with sudden spoken-word interludes that he would shout out as if he was having an argument with God and the conservative clergy. Though the Sabri Brothers too came from the same Sufi-music background as Aziz Mian, they were more subdued and harmonious in their approach towards their music.....

 

Dhaka: The Enduring City
Milia Ali

Beneath Dhaka's unattractive façade lies a compassionate soul. The city and its people have a great ability to accept and adapt. From a quaint town of the '70s it has transformed into a bustling city -- reinventing itself to accommodate the rapid changes. But, despite all its urbanisation Dhaka still retains touches of its rustic self… The other day I was shopping in Gulshan 2. A hawker sitting with his basket of Dhaka cheese offered me a big chunk. When I told him I had no cash left on me he said: “Aapa, please take it, you can pay me tomorrow....

 

Iran has already tried to block Western music and movies and social media. But they cannot block them successfully. These technological influences are even more powerful and more effective and corrosive than the invasion of Western fast food. No radar system and no Internet block and no diet can possibly protect Iran from the real secret weapons of the West. It just won’t work. Freedom cannot be blocked. Here’s to a year free of fear and filled with freedom.....

 

There Is No Single Islamic Culture
Mohamad Jebra

What most converts to Islam seem to miss is that Islam is a spiritual and religious system, it is not an alternative to one’s cultural and national identity. In fact, wherever you go in the world you will find a unique and harmonious merging of Islamic and local values. Sub-Saharan Africa has a unique Islamic culture, which greatly differs from Chinese Muslim culture, which, likewise, greatly varies from Balkan Islamic culture…..

The ‘Evil’ In Our Textbooks
Madiha Afzal

Our penchant for conspiracy theories also falls into place. We are taught that Muslims were victimised before Partition. The British conspired with the Hindus and the Congress to do so. One of the reasons given for “the fall of East Pakistan” is “international conspiracies”, with players as diverse as Russia, India and America conspiring against us. Little wonder, then, that we have an unhealthy sense of national paranoia….

 

The ‘Swinging Seventies’ In Pakistan: An Urban History
Nadeem F. Paracha

The shrine culture, pertaining to the devotional, recreational, and economic activity around the shrines of ancient Muslim saints, had been around in the subcontinent for almost a thousand years. The saints’ Islam was more accommodating than dogmatic, and a largely permissive culture of ecstatic devotional music, innovative rituals and indigenous intoxicants started to take shape around the shrines, mostly involving poor farmers, the dispossessed, (and later,) the urban lumpen proletariat....

 

My Name Is Pakistan and I’m Not an Arab
Nadeem F. Paracha

The point is, instead of assimilating the finer points of the diverse religious and ethnic cultures that our history is made of and synthesise them to form a more convincing and grounded nationalism and cultural identity, we have decided to reject our diverse and pluralistic past and instead adopt cultural dimensions of a people who, ironically, still consider non-Arabs like Pakistanis as second-class Muslims....

 
Religion and Rituals
Dilnawaz Qamar

Practices of rites and rituals without changing lives confine the religion to the precincts of a mosque, a church, a temple or holy place. Religion is practical that changes one inside out, not only a set of actions performed daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. It is our choice to become either an ignorant dummy or one seeking the will of God....

 

The Truth behind ‘Arabisation’ Of Pakistani Culture
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

‘Arabisation’ not only flies in the face of the more liberal and fluid cultural practices that have prevailed in this region since antiquity, but also more damningly is the primary impetus behind the militant Jihadi upsurge. I largely agree with this perspective, although such general hypotheses necessarily oversimplify social reality....

Timbuktu Libraries in Exile
Community – Seattle, Washington, United States

In 2012, under threat from fundamentalist rebels, a team of archivists, librarians, and couriers evacuated an irreplaceable trove of manuscripts from Timbuktu at great personal risk. The manuscripts have been saved from immediate destruction, but the danger is not over. A massive archival effort is needed to protect this immense global heritage from loss....

 

The Islamisation of a Culture
Rana Allam

I do not want to imagine what kind of culture this minister will enforce in our cinemas, books, music, arts and cultural centres! These, along with their censorship committee, are under the leadership of the Islamist Alaa Abdel Aziz. But will they be able to censor Egyptian youth?...

 
Connecting Minds — Creating the Future
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Connecting Minds — Creating the Future
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

More than 1,200 years ago, while Europe was in its Dark Ages, the Muslim world was ruled by a dynasty of Islamic leaders who embraced free thought and creativity from all corners of the globe. Never before had history witnessed such cultural openness and symbiosis as during the reign of the Abbasid Caliphs. They built the world’s first university, named it Bayt Al Hikma (House of Wisdom) and filled its library with the finest cultural, scientific and literary creations known to mankind....

 

Muslim women do need liberating — not from Islam — from their indigenous cultural practices, often conflated with Islam. Muslims must not be reticent; they need to bear the responsibility for the liberation of Muslim women and ensure that they are not deprived of the rights granted to them by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) more than 1,400 years ago....

Child Marriage in Islam: A Myth?
Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad

In Islam, this is the true position of a girl achieving puberty or the age of proper understanding when it comes to marriage. The religion basically prescribes that a child ceases to be a minor upon her first menstruation, regardless of age. Once approached with a marriage proposal, she has the option to accept or reject it. Her consent is a necessary prerequisite for a valid marital contract. Her guardian enjoys no liberty to force her to accept any proposal if she is unwilling....



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NEW COMMENTS

  • Mr Ghulam Rasool, you say, “lets not hover over the personalities”. Mr. Ghulam Rasool, You quoted Mufti Abdul Qayyum Hazarwi to defend your statement, but ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Jb Ghulam Rasool Dehlavi Sb: You are projecting yourself as an Aalim-ul Ghaib", it reflects from your statement given below as if Allah Kareem ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Ansarisaab, I do not want any mullas banned. I want us to think for ourselves and to be free to express our opinions unless ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Leave these maulanas aside. Let us learn to think for ourselves. Should women's liberties be restricted because men have evil desires? It would ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr Aaina: I have already expressed myself regarding the article as the solution of this grave problem is not a child's play and can not ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus saheb, lets not hover over the personalities. Only Ala Hazrat or Mufti Abdul Qayyum Hazarwi are not permitted by Allah to conduct ...
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • @ ghulam mohiyuddin saheb, But i do not think you practically support acceptance of diversity and validation of other view points. Just in case of ...
    ( By Ameen Ansari )
  • To Raihan Nezami: I have no Hidden agenda if it was I will not write it and reply or would change name and write ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, I have read his fatwa and various others’ fatwas too. This Minhaji fatwa is very short and almost the same thing ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Sectarian division is a bitter fact in Muslim community. Whenever we generally ask any Muslim if he likes sectarian division in the Muslim community, he ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus saheb, you would want to read this fatwa issued by Mufti abdul qayyum hasarwi, an autheticn Sunni Islamic jurist in the Indo....
    ( By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi )
  • What do you say about the use of ‘Gunahe Azeem’ in the holy Quran at numerous places? For example, Allah Almighty says in the Qura’n, “They ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • I totally disagree with the conclusive points made by Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi in this article............... The best jurisprudential book I have read on ...
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • The article demonstrates the bare facts about the Muslim ghetto which are hidden from the eyes of the mainstream citizens and administration.'
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Using phrases like "Gunah-e-Azeem" to spread fear and superstition is typical of shirk-baaz obscurantists. They deserve only ridicule.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr. Aaina: When you had no answers, started complaining to the editor, it is another trick of diverting attention from the core issues. You are ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • The present lot of women can be compared to the Begamat Hz Aaisha (r.a) Hz Fatimah (r.a) or others. The graveyards of Sufis are not ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • To Raihan Nezami: Well you said me of low intellectual which I accepted as your certificate which you Muslims are very fond of giving different ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Good article. The spirituality in itself is a divine gift bestowed to the people who follow the righteous path avoiding the evil deeds and are ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • Even if the majority of Pakistanis are against terrorism, they cannot consider themselves to be totally innocent if they hold intolerant and backward views.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good article! Acceptance of diversity and validation of other view points are the hallmarks of civilized societies.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Any educational system that glorifies past regressive practices and considers modernism an enemy of Islam should not get our support.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Mr. Aaina: Keep attacking on personal grounds but it is not going to demoralize the intellectuals participating in discussions here. There is nothing wrong in having ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • it is clear how much Zakir Naik can gather comments and you can find strait dived btween the commenters who favour and against, certainly he ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • To Raihan Nezami: Well you can keep your opinion about me, I have no problem with. Now I repeat what I have written let the readers ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Mr. Aaina: Your request cum bitter criticism to NewageIslam exposed your personal bias against Jb Ghulam Mohiyuddin Sb in particular and the Muslims in general ...
    ( By Raihan Nezami )
  • @Afshin Jan Khaqan i am an ambedkarite not a supporter or opponent of any religion I am just upholder of TRUTH. point is zakir conducts ...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • what a joke New Age Islam is quoting deobanhd fatwa. and that too on grounds of pure theological reasoning about 4 muqalldins. since when new ...
    ( By Iqbal Husain )
  • when coutts have absolved zakir naik saheb from all accusations of hate speeches then what is the basis of this article. I think manuvadies and ...
    ( By Dolly Passey )
  • Very informative. No matter how perfunctory and lackadaisical, its actions, at least the Pakistan government seems aware of the problem of radicalisation through various madrasa ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • The emphasis of any school, madrasa or non-madrasa, must be on quality education that prepares students for success in a very competitive ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Religion belongs in our private space and should not impinge on public and governmental affairs except as a spur to an individual's moral and ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • Good book review. While we must condemn and combat violent takfir with all our might, we must not take too kindly to non-violent takfir either. ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • If common civil code will be implemented then there will be more assimilation among all communities in India. Which is very much important for one ...
    ( By vivek )
  • To Raiham Nizami: I never wished what Muslim should say that appease other faith or how Muslim should comment, I did not said that their ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Good article! I continue to maintain that trying to derive laws from religious texts is a mistake. Laws must be framed by the contemporaneous ...
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
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    ( By ghulam )
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  • Ron; Thanks Church is a generic term: ‘a house set apart for worship for an established religion’, and priests are the operatives therein: ’official conductors of ...
    ( By Rashid Samnakay )
  • Dear Ghulam Ghaus, hope you are fine. What is qaule suwari and qaule zaruri? I read it in an Urdu article but could not understand. ...
    ( By Ravi Kumar )